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The Norwegian Board of Health has summarized the experience gained by the Offices of the County Governors from their supervision of social services in 2003 and 2004. Supervision has been carried out both as system audits in 116 municipalities and as local supervision. Local supervision mainly involved investigating whether the use of restraint is carried out in accordance with authorized decisions. The summary has shown that when the supervision authorities have directed their attention to social services, services and practical measures for people with mental disabilities and families with physically handicapped children are evaluated most often. Attention has also been directed to the way in which the municipalities manage the use of restraint for people with mental disabilities. Practical measures include home-based services such as practical assistance and training, relief for carers, support contacts and economic assistance for carers. Therefore, the experience described in this report is mainly related to municipal services for these client groups.

The municipalities still have work to do when it comes to improving the management and the supply of services. The municipalities often lack routines for ensuring that clients’ rights are met when services are allocated, provided and altered. There is a great deal of activity in the area of training. However, there are reports of lack of systematic measures to ensure that employees have adequate knowledge and skills within the areas they work and the services they provide.

The municipalities’ practice in relation to clients for whom an approved decision has been made about the use of restraint, is often in accordance with the requirements laid down in the legislation. However, there seems to be reason for concern that restraint is used without being followed up in accordance with the legislation.

Report from the Norwegian Board of Health 6/2005 (Pdf in Norwegian)

Summary in Norwegian